China Expects Record 9 Billion Trips During Lunar New Year Travel Rush

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Although China still has a way to go to make a complete recovery from the pandemic, the projected boom in Lunar New Year trips is a welcome sign for the travel industry worldwide.

Chinese travelers are projected to make a record 9 billion domestic trips during the 40-day Lunar New Year period starting Friday, according to state-run news agency Xinhua. 

That figure would roughly double the roughly 4.7 billion trips made during last year’s Lunar New Year travel period, which occurred shortly after Beijing significantly eased the country’s strict Covid policies.

Chinese Vice Transport Minister Li Yang said that 7.2 billion trips during this year’s busy travel period would be made by car. As for train travel, China’s railway system is expected to see 480 million passenger trips during the Lunar New Year travel period, a 38% jump from last year and a 18% increase from 2019. Xinhua reported that Chinese officials projected roughly 10.6 million train trips would take place on Friday.

Air travel during this year’s holiday period is also expected to subtantially increase. China’s aviation regulator forecasts roughly 80 million trips to be made by air, a 9.8% jump from 2019. In addition, Shanghai’s two airports expect passenger traffic to increase 57.6% from last year while Beijing’s airports will see a more than 60% jump.

Outbound travel from China is also projected to increase from last year as Chinese airlines have added more than 2,500 international flights to their schedules for the Lunar New Year travel period. Group recently said China’s outbound travel bookings for this Lunar New Year were more than 10 times higher than in 2023, with Thailand, Japan, and South Korea emerging as the most popular destinations for Chinese travelers.

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